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Report | The Exiles hold MK Dons to goalless draw

11 November 2023

Club News

Report | The Exiles hold MK Dons to goalless draw

11 November 2023

Newport County battled to a hard-earned 0-0 draw against MK Dons at Rodney Parade on Saturday afternoon.

Manager Graham Coughlan made just one change to the side that defeated Oldham Athletic last time out, with Nathan Wood replacing the injured Aaron Wildig. There was a place on the bench for Jonny Maxted who also returned to the County bench following illness.

After a frantic opening, it was the visitors who made an assured start in possession, calving out the best opportunity inside eight minutes. Joe Tomlinson broke down the left-hand side before picking out captain Alex Gibley who was smartly denied by the advancing Nick Townsend.

Just minutes later, good pressing from Shane McLoughlin forced Daniel Harvie into conceding possession, allowing the midfielder to drive forward in attack for County. The Irishmen’s cross fell to the feet of Bogle inside the box, but he was thwarted from point-blank range.

Calm and composed in possession, the Exiles created another attacking move midway through the first half. A trademark run from Will Evans saw Bryn Morris find the winger with a fantastic ball. Evans drove through to the Dons defence before teeing up Wood, who struck the side netting. 

With half-time fast approaching, Morris worked space outside the box, guiding a phenomenal effort just wide as Newport continued to search for an opener. That was before Bogle showed strength and skill in attack to beat Warren O’Hara, firing an effort narrowly wide of the target, as the half ended goalless.

Half-time

With County creating momentum straight from the restart, Coughlan’s side made a determined start to the second period. Bogle chased down goalkeeper Craig MacGivray, forcing him into conceding possession, with the loose pass being pounced on by Evans, but he could only curl his effort wide of the post.

With their tales up, Matt Baker tried lucky with an audacious volley moments later but his effort was comfortably dealt with by MacGivray.

Despite County's positivity in attack, Mike Williams' men produced a great chance to take the lead midway through the second half. After a long-range ball beat the Exiles backline, Tomlinson beat Townsend in a race to the ball but he was unable to find the target from close range.

Eager to turn their good chances into goals, Evans once again went agonisingly close to handing County the lead with fifteen minutes remaining. Wood threaded a lovely ball in behind the MK Dons backline to his counter-partner, whose clever chip rattled the top of the woodwork.

Moments later, Baker was needed to produce a last-ditch block prior to a strong stop from Townsend to deny a ferrous strike from Tomlinson to keep the scores level.

In injury time, Newport threw men forward in attack in search of a late winner, but it wasn't enough as both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils in South Wales.

Full-time

The Exiles return to action on Tuesday night as they host Bristol Rovers in the EFL Trophy at Rodney Parade (7.30pm). You can buy your tickets here.

Newport County: Townsend, Payne, Delaney (C), Evans, Morris, Bogle, Bennett, McLoughlin, Wood (Waite 85), Baker, Bondswell.

Subs not used: Maxted, Thomas, Young, Sanca.

MK Dons: MacGillivray, Norman, O’Hara, Williams, Leko, Gibley, Payne, Tomlinson, Grant, Dean (Eisa 86), Harvie.

Subs not used: Kelly, Lewington, Smith, Burns, Devoy, Dennis.

Attendance: 3,777 (345 away)


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